Green Days: Day 1 Tips & Giveaway

Green trees

It’s Day One of Green Days – 3 days of green tips and giveaways on Mom365. Today, we’re giving away a fab gift pack of all-natural skin care products. Read on to find out how to enter, and check back over the next 2 days for more giveaways.

For our green guidance, we asked Honey Berk, a freelance writer who’s been specializing in sustainable living and green building for more than 10 years, to offer her favorite tips.

Day 1: Green Cleaning

There’s no shortage of cleaning products that claim to be “green” or environmentally friendly. But why not go a step further – or back – to keep potentially harmful chemicals away from your little one? It’s very easy to use natural household products like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and distilled white vinegar to clean, disinfect and deodorize your home just like your great-grandmother did a century ago.

Note Be careful not to combine with any commercial cleaners or other ingredients, and be sure to test first on a small, inconspicuous area first to verify results.

From cupcake to…

…bathtub stains, smelly diaper pails, dirty walls and more. Baking soda has been used as a household and personal cleanser for thousands of years – in fact, the Ancient Egyptians are said to have used it as soap and toothpaste. Because baking soda neutralizes acids and breaks down proteins, it’s a very effective deodorizer. What’s more, its finely gritty texture makes it a great substitute for abrasive cleansers.

  • To remove stains from most bathroom surfaces, apply a paste of baking soda and water; let sit for a few minutes then scrub or wipe clean
  • Use a paste of baking soda and water with an old toothbrush to remove crayon marks from walls
  • Use a paste of baking soda and water to pre-treat stains on fabric
  • To eliminate garbage can or diaper pail odors, sprinkle a layer of baking soda into the can, add a small amount of water and swish it around a few times before pouring out; add a thin layer of baking soda under the garbage bag to help keep things fresh

H2O2 rocks

Since hydrogen peroxide’s discovery in 1818, it’s been used as a bleaching agent and disinfectant for a all kinds of applications, from textile bleaching to dental care to wastewater treatment. And you can use it as a household cleaner, too. The 3% hydrogen peroxide solution you see in the drugstore is a great anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mold and anti-mildew agent, replacing a range of toxic cleaners.

  • Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide solution into a clean spray bottle (not previously filled with toxic cleaners) and use it as you would any other household cleaner: spray on countertops and leave for a few minutes to sanitize; spray onto shower walls and let sit for a while to help loosen mold and mildew, and then use regularly to prevent build-up.
  • Pour one-half cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution into the washer to help brighten whites (pour into water, not directly on clothes)
  • Spray 3% hydrogen peroxide solution on mirrors for a sparkling, streak-free clean

Vinegar


Vinegar’s use as a cleaner and disinfectant traces back to the civilization of ancient Babylonia. Because it is so acidic, distilled white vinegar is great for killing most mold, bacteria and germs.

  • Use a half-and-half solution of distilled white vinegar and water to clean the walls and shelves of your refrigerator; pour a cup of distilled white vinegar inside an empty dishwasher and run it through a whole cycle every month to remove soap build-up and odors.
  • Add one-half cup of distilled white vinegar during the rinse cycle to break down soapy residue on clothes and leave them soft and static-free
  • Wet-mop no-wax floors with a solution of one cup distilled white vinegar per one gallon of warm water
  • For streak-free windows, clean with a solution of equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water; for ease of use, pour into a clean spray bottle (not previously filled with toxic cleaners

To enter to win a basket of all-natural skin-care products from Belly Buttons and Babies (baby body wash, massage lotion, mom & baby cream, hydrating mist – valued at $69), tell us your own green cleaning tip or comment on Honey’s tips in the comments box below. We’ll pick a winner on May 7.